Maryland Robotics Center Student Seminar: NASA Swarmathon - Hunting resources in the wild

Friday, October 11, 2019
2:00 p.m.
1146 AV Williams
Lena Johnson
301 405 8870
ljohns14@umd.edu

Maryland Robotics Center Student Seminar

NASA Swarmathon - Hunting Resources in the Wild

Amrish Baskaran

Bala Murali Manoghar

Abstract

The NASA Swarmathon is a challenge to develop cooperative robotics to revolutionize space exploration.  The challenge is to develop and test cooperative search algorithms for robotic swarms that can revolutionize space exploration. These algorithms could one day be used in NASA’s Mission to Mars. Robots are needed for “In situ resource utilization” (ISRU) by collecting materials such as water ice and useful minerals from the Martian surface to be used by astronauts who land on Mars in future missions.
The goal is to develop integrated robotic platforms that improve resource retrieval rates by 2–4 fold, compared to the same number of robots operating without cooperation, and orders of magnitude faster than solitary robots.


In this talk, we will cover ways to tackle the unstructured foraging problem, how the robot could cover the map and retrieve the cubes with a limited field of view, how to obtain maximum area coverage and avoid obstacles based on deterministic algorithms and how to share the resource information between the robots. The algorithms are implemented in C++ on the ROS platform and tested on both virtual grounds (Gazebo environment) and physical robots. The NASA Swarmathon is a challenge to develop cooperative robotics to revolutionize space exploration.  The challenge is to develop and test cooperative search algorithms for robotic swarms that can revolutionize space exploration. These algorithms could one day be used in NASA’s Mission to Mars. Robots are needed for “In situ resource utilization” (ISRU) by collecting materials such as water ice and useful minerals from the Martian surface to be used by astronauts who land on Mars in future missions.


The goal is to develop integrated robotic platforms that improve resource retrieval rates by 2–4 fold, compared to the same number of robots operating without cooperation, and orders of magnitude faster than solitary robots.
In this talk, we will cover ways to tackle the unstructured foraging problem, how the robot could cover the map and retrieve the cubes with a limited field of view, how to obtain maximum area coverage and avoid obstacles based on deterministic algorithms and how to share the resource information between the robots. The algorithms are implemented in C++ on the ROS platform and tested on both virtual grounds (Gazebo environment) and physical robots.

About the Robotics Student Seminars

The Robotics Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current robotics students.

The purpose of these talks is to:

  • Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
  • Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.

 

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